Month: December 2009

Crafting a Christmas Card

It’s already just a week before Christmas 2009. Time has flown. I still haven’t gotten my Christmas cards done. I know what I want to do. But haven’t gotten anything more than pro-types for cutting with my Cricut/Gypsy and putting that together and gluing things together & glitter … but no inside picture or writing done …

I wanted to get a family snapshot taken on Monday or Tuesday, but it didn’t happen, now hubby isn’t here until Friday night, so it’s a no-go … I could take a picture of just the children, but that’s not really what I wanted to do. Then on to printing it, I have an Epson picture printer, 4×6 size. It hasn’t worked well for me always, really wastes ink IMO and it’s only worth printing at all if you are printing a lot at once. I did have something installed on a computer once that allowed me to manually control “what it thought the ink levels were” but that’s long since gone since I mostly used it with my Epson All-in-One that was crazier than my Picture printer and I got sick of it and threw it away. Upgrading and new computers … it was either on my Desktop which is re-invented since, or my old laptop which was re-Clean-Installed since as well.

My picture printer has been sitting around for many, many months so I have no idea if it can be counted on or not. So not is my guess, since it’s a crap shoot as to how many photos it will print.

The other option is to print onto cardstock or vellum with my HP Laserjet … which does make a good looking black and white image on regular paper and such just fine, it’s just not “photo-ish” it’s more “newspaper photo-ish” which is good, but different than usually used in cards.

I used vellum to print a large photo for my youngest’s first baby scrapbook page with the HP Laserjet. It’s kind of cool, very, in fact. It’s just not a full fleshed image like is expected, it’s very subtle, soft, gentle. Therefore interesting, so now I have convinced myself it’s not so bad to use such for my Christmas card either, probably.

A 3rd option is to get a picture taken and upload it to Costco to have printed, or another place. Since it’s so late in the season though, it’s not a good idea necessarily, plus it’s something I’d best do at home since Friday night or Saturday late morning is the first time to get a full family picture taken, so it’s just something I need to figure out here, children or entire family, & then print it how.

Meantime I do have to come up with a Christmas list. I have no address book available. I’m Out-of-Touch with most everyone, not sending Christmas cards for a long time, though I have attempted, but I don’t know where a list is right now. As the years have gone by most people have stopped sending me Christmas cards, which makes it impossible for me to send THEM Christmas cards. I am still here where I’ve been since 1997. Actually, the cards coming to me dropped off before I stopped sending them. So it’s not fully my fault at how I feel about it. I don’t know what’s the what, guess my generation just doesn’t do much. I don’t write Christmas letters, feel weird doing so, like I have to have something spectacular happen to write one, like in 2007 I had a baby, but then I had trouble getting birth announcements out, finally did 3 months later, not in a mode with 3 other children & a baby again to do anything for a Christmas letter/card anyhow.

My sisters don’t always send something, my in-law relatives either. I mean cards or letters.

I have good intentions. I do, always have. I just haven’t functioned well enough to follow-through. It’s easier to make a blah card and send it out, or to make a great one custom for one person for no good reason any other time of the year.

I love my Cricut & new Gypsy. I have many ideas I can implement, but it’s really the thing about why: I don’t have a good place to work on these things. My scrap stuff is in my bedroom piled up, and also in an old computer armoire, all piled up. No desk or table for crafting available. It’s frustrating to use the kitchen table, can’t leave a project out. Worse to use the bed, way worse, but better in a way, but still NO PLACE TO LEAVE A PROJECT OUT, something that is in stages of putting together. No place in this house. This house is too small in regular living in fact. I’m stir crazy from that, and not productive therefore. I try, and fail. I’m trying, finding it hard to get anything done in this realm.

I did get a new thing at Costco this year, recently too, that makes wrapping presents much more pleasant. It’s a SnapWare Gift Wrapping station. It’s plastic with metal folding legs. It holds several rolls of wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, scissors, etc. Neat thing to hold stuff while working on wrapping, channels in surface to follow with scissors to cut paper. I wrapped daughters birthday presents this Nov. with a happy heart the whole time. It went smoothly. Christmas wrapping has been great too. I’ve wrapped a lot in the last few weeks, a ton, but it’s not as bad past years using the bed, the floor, or the kitchen table. None of them work because they aren’t like the new wrapping station I got. It’s wonderful.

The wrapping station is something that shows what a good crafting area, a dedicated area, would do for me. It’s a wonderful template to apply to life in every area, what works best is a good kitchen, good bathroom, good living room, good vehicle. The right size & tools for the job, the right space, all works together with a human to do their best and enjoy doing it more than if they had to do it with lesser.

So I hope I can manage to send something out. I am trying.


December this year has been rather wet compared to what I remember since living in GA (1997.) It has rained and rained and rained, been overcast and dull a lot, little sun. Sunny days are very special this month so far. Today the wind is building so much so that we are under a Wind Advisory as it is supposed to start when a low passes over GA so windy conditions will build with enough wind and gust to get an advisory until 6pm so far.

I’ve noted while looking out the window that wind is actually starting to build more in the last 10 minutes than before all morning, so the event has started. The sun is out a bit, but has been rather blah looking, until just recently, the sky is all blue and sunny with some stretched-out clouds on the skyline North-ish to the horizon there.

I’m trying to get more into the holiday mood. Already have any presents that we’ve bought wrapped up for several days. We’ve done more ahead of time than usual. We have more to get, but have to wait for Dec. 15 pay day to do more. Also, now that the septic tank was a forced issue we will be behind more than we anticipated and so my main Christmas present will probably not happen.

Hubby would say I got mine early anyhow, but it’s a different one than was planned (yes, I know what it’s supposed to have been, nothing is a surprise some years, such as this year is.) I got a Cricut “Gypsy” on Black Friday, with Michael’s having the best price “239.99” plus a $100 rebate to use on AThey also gave a car-charger and lanyard as a gift after purchase. (car-charger was $24.99 alone FWIW)

Besides the septic thing we also have something extra from a problem hubby is having with his a former contract he had, the which is suing the former head of that company and added my hubby to the suit for no good reason but thus far haven’t been able to get out of it, so $$$ to lawyer for working on it …. 🙁 no Christmas cheer for me due to that. I am able to do some things, but there is the “decide what we need in the kitchen (food) for the rest of the year. Then it’s Pick One from: get a Christmas tree, or firewood, or get the milk we usually buy from the farm in SC. But, it’s all “in the future” as we are pretty much out of money until payday, then not much to use for what needs done, so it’s a picking game. :(;

Septic Tank Pumping

Update on the septic tank pumping from yesterday: they arrived later than originally planned, but it went quick. It was FULL. So we hit that point like a brick wall this past week. Barely able to do anything in the house that involved draining into the stack to the septic tank.

A chart online about septic tanks says for 6 people using a 1000g septic system it should be pumped every 1.5 years. For 5 people, every 2.0 years.

We lived in the house from Nov. 1997 to Aug. 2003 … with 2 adults & a toddler, then a baby in late 1998, then another baby in 2000. By the time we finally had the system pumped we had a 7yo, 4yo, & an almost 3yo, plus us adults, the parents.

From then to now, over 6 years ago, it’s the 2 adults, plus a now 13yo, 11yo, 9yo, & 2yo. It makes sense that we have filled it up, maybe others would have done so sooner, as we don’t all take showers every day like many do. I’m believe in conservation and try to keep consumption of water down where I can. That does help with a septic system.

So the next pumping should occur: August 2011. Before or after a bit would work.

Septic Tank Pumping 2009

Birthday and Thanksgiving Day were good. Waiting to get things done here & there, then this weekend we had symptoms of “gotta get it done” with the septic tank, so bad we had to monitor the toilet in the basement & vaccum water out of it if it got too high when flushing another toilet in the house. It has gotten so we can’t flush very often, not often enough for 5 people to live here happily.

No showers, no washing machine use, no baths, no dishwasher use.

I am would love to use our gray water differently, and if we did, it would put a great prize into the yard, & take away some of the septic overload. But we aren’t set-up for that (though it could be accomplished.) If we were right now though, showers and baths would be do-able at the least.

Thing is, this situation is so very tedious just washing something in the sink sets the drains bubbling & gurgling, or tilts the balance of things & water starts rising again. It could be worse, I know that. It’s just plain bad enough. Really bad in how I estimate this process of waiting so long to get it done that it takes quality of life, puts it in a holding tank where we can’t access it.

We last had the system pumped August 8, 2003. Too long ago. Certain maintenance things are not followed around here that need to be and as the house gets older it’s becoming an issue.

This is one that could be a costly issue, maybe, maybe not. We won’t know until the septic people arrive & open her up.

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